NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Turkey puts Israeli Generals on Trial for Mavi Marmara Attack


    Israel describes the Turkish trial as a kangaroo court, but Turkish lawyers pushing ahead and say an Interpol notice for the arrest of the former Israeli commanders will be issued if they fail to attend -   November 12, 2012
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    This is where I am able to find out what is actually developing across the world. Thank you TRNN! - Stan Estus
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Transcript

    Turkey puts Israeli Generals on Trial for Mavi Marmara AttackHassan Ghani

    Istanbul’s 7th High Court is a colossus of a building, which dominates the landscape around it. An appropriate setting then, for a trial which could have ramifications far beyond Turkey’s borders.

    The Israeli military’s attack on the Gaza aid flotilla in 2010 certainly damaged relations between Israel and Turkey. And the decision of the Turkish courts to push ahead with a trial prosecuting four former senior figures within the Israeli military, who were in command at the time, is likely to fracture those relations further.

    It’s taken more than two years to reach this point, and the accused aren’t even here to face their accusers. But the families of those killed onboard the freedom flotilla say they remain committed to seeking justice, and they’re pinning their hopes on this court in Istanbul.

    Ismail Bilgen, Son of Ibrahim Bilgen

    “My father was killed by a bullet that came from near, he was shot from here (the side of the head).”

    Hassan Ghani

    Forensic evidence indicates that 61 year old Ibrahim Bilgen was shot from a helicopter above, then shot twice from behind, and finally shot at close range in the side of the head with a beanbag round that entered his brain.

    Today, his 24 year old son is seeking some measure of redress.

    Ismail Bilgen, Son of Ibrahim Bilgen

    “I expect justice. When my father talked to me for the last time on the webcam, I said ‘go to Gaza, do your job, come back’. I wasn’t expecting any soldier attack, because it’s a totally civilian ship, from 37 countries.”

    Hassan Ghani

    Those killed also included a US national, 19 year old would-be medical student Furkan Dogan, who had been filming with a video camera that morning. His autopsy indicates that he was shot at close range while lying injured on the floor. His father has tried, without success, to seek help from the US ministry of justice.

    Ahmet Dogan, Father of Furkan Dogan

    “Furkan has always been someone who cares deeply about people suffering from poverty, famine or oppression. He was aware of what was going on in Gaza and it hurt him a lot. He wanted to show his heart is with the children of Gaza, and wanted to take gifts for them himself.”

    “Furkan knew he could face difficulties, but when you stand by the oppressed you cannot just flee when you see the powerful. But neither Furkan nor we were expecting such an aggressive and fatal attack on the ship. This attack was irrational.”

    “There as not been much help from the US authorities. But the reaction from American people is very positive when I talk to them about him. They say they didn’t know the attack happened in this way. The Mavi Marmara case has been covered up or twisted in the media there, there is disinformation being spread. I’m sure Americans would be standing by Furkan if they knew the facts.”

    Hassan Ghani

    In all, 9 people were killed on the morning of the 31st of May, 2010, in international waters. An earlier UN investigation described at least six of the deaths as summary executions. A tenth man remains in a coma to this day. Dozens more were injured in the shooting, with around 650 rounds of ammunition fired by soldiers onboard the Mavi Marmara, around half of them live bullets.

    And passengers say firing continued long after they'd raised a white flag.

    Israel’s own investigation exonerated its soldiers, and stated that they acted lawfully in self-defence in the face of violent resistance, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law.

    Retired US army colonel Ann Wright, who witnessed the entire attack from another boat alongside the Mavi Marmara, accepts that there was some resistance to the Israeli soldiers by those onboard.

    Ann Wright, Free Gaza Movement

    “The commandos coming in with violence, it’s human nature if somebody’s coming at me and going to beat the hell out of me, I’m going to pick up that camera right there and try to stop them. That’s what people were doing on the Mavi Marmara. They had no weapons, they used chairs, they bent some poles off things, but when you’re facing a force that’s shooting and has already killed people, and you don’t know whether they’re going to kill you next, one can understand why there were some people that tried to resist.

    There were people who were killed on the top of the boat, on the Mavi Marmara, that were killed by snipers that were shooting from the helicopters. There was no resistance there. They were just standing there, and all of a sudden they were lying in their own pool of blood.”

    Hassan Ghani

    Passengers on other boats, where there was no resistance, say they too were shot with plastic rounds, tasered and severely beaten. Many of them have been testifying in Istanbul.

    Ann Wright

    “This is the first time the evidence has been brought to a court. And it also sends a signal to other Israeli government officials, that if you follow the dictates of a political administration, and you attack and murder others, you are going to be held accountable for this – so this is a very important trial.”

    Hassan Ghani

    The witnesses range from Americans to Malaysians, Greeks to Algerians, Palestinians and Turks. In all, 37 nationalities were onboard the flotilla of six ships, and most are represented in this case.

    Among them is Canadian Kevin Neish, who managed to smuggle out photographs from the boat. His testimony focused on the fate of 3 Israeli soldiers who were briefly detained by the passengers during the struggle for control of the ship.

    Kevin Neish, Canadian Boat to Gaza

    “I had photographs of the Israeli commandos as they were brought into the ship, and actual evidence of them being treated properly. I had photographs of IHH doctors treating them and taking care of them, as opposed to the usual line of them being attacked and being lynched by the folks on the ship. As they were treating the soldier, he had a cut or a contusion on his forehead, there’s actually footage of him being treated, so while they’re doing that – there was two aid workers full of holes one deck above full of holes bleeding all over the floor.”

    Hassan Ghani

    I too was onboard the Mavi Marmara, reporting as a journalist, and was asked to testify before the court regarding the seizure, by force, of video evidence of what took place, along with the attempted jamming of communications by the Israeli Navy to prevent media broadcasts, and the killing of Turkish journalist Cevdet Kilicilar, shot in the forehead at close range while taking photographs.

    The vast majority of media materials and video evidence snatched from passengers by the soldiers, remain with Israel, which refuses to hand them back.

    Israel has described the case as a showtrial and a kangaroo court, a unilateral political act with no judicial credibility. And perhaps predictably, the four Israeli generals have refused to attend or mount a defence, and are being tried in absentia, with defence lawyers appointed to them. But Israel itself is no stranger to cases of universal jurisdiction, and trying defendants in absentia, as it did with Nazi leaders in the wake of World War 2.

    Lawyers acting on behalf of IHH, the Turkish aid NGO at the centre of the flotilla, claim the organisation has faced intense pressure to back down.

    Gulden Sonmez, IHH Lawyer

    “Israel has been trying to prevent the case reaching this point. There have been attempts to blackmail senior members of the IHH, and there has been pressure on passengers of the other ships to give up the trial. Israel told us that if we give up the trial they will provide a fund of six million dollars in Turkey. But we refused this, it is immoral. Israel has refused to apologise, and refused to lift the siege on Gaza.”

    “We absolutely want a trial carrying a just judgement. The defendants can come and defend themselves; we want them to exercise their full rights. They can use Turkish lawyers or they can bring their own lawyers.”

    Hassan Ghani

    Critics within Turkey say that even if the trial finds the men guilty and issues multiple life sentences, the former military commanders are highly unlikely to face prison, as they wont be handed over by Israel. They argue that the case is a pointless symbolic exercise.

    Gulden Sonmez, IHH Lawer

    “If the Israeli commanders ignore the court summons during the trial, the judge will issue a warrant for their arrest. They will then ask Interpol to bring them here. Turkey and Israel signed a treaty on extradition, and if Israel refuses to hand over the defendants for political reasons then there will be serious political consequences. Turkey also has extradition agreements with other countries and if they visit those countries, it can demand they be arrested and extradited. If the trial concludes and they are found guilty, then this will take things to an even higher level.”

    Hassan Ghani

    This is a massive case, with almost 500 complainants, and it’s likely to run over a period of years. Its implications could also be huge, depending on the reaction of both the Israeli and Turkish governments. But either way, the families of the victims seem satisfied, for the moment, that their story is finally being heard in a court of law. Hassan Ghani, for the Real News, Istanbul.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting